Tamiya M4 Sherman Build Report 1: Main Assembly


Building models as a kid, I mostly stuck with aircraft, though I occasionally ventured out and build a few ships, figures, and yes, armor. I remember enjoying the armor kits, but hating the tracks with a passion. Assembling the individual track links was a skill that was, at the time, way out of my reach. Thankfully, Tamiya’s armor kits usually used flexible vinyl tracks, so when I built armor, I usually built Tamiya. I remember an M4A3 Sherman, a German King Tiger, and a Panzer IV, which is one of the few models that’s survived to the present day…

It’s been about 17 years since I’ve built an armor kit, but I’ve added a few to the stash over the past few months, and when a few days of rain left me nothing to do but build, I decided to pull one of the armor kits out of the box and get to work.

1/35 Tamiya M4 Sherman Early Production

As I mentioned, I’ve got a few armor kits in the stash – a Tamiya KV-II, a Zvezda T-34, an AFV Club Achilles, and a Tasca M4A3(76)w. I decided to go with the Tamiya Sherman because 1) I have a soft spot for the Sherman and 2) the Tamiya kit builds up pretty easily. That…and the paint scheme is pretty much the exact opposite of intricate.

The Sherman was originally designed to use a cast hull, but production issues led to the adoption of a welded hull in order to get it into the field faster. The early Shermans arrived in time to help turn the tide against Rommel’s Afrika Korps in North Africa, and went on to serve in Italy, France and Germany. The cast hull version did show up, but all further Sherman evolution, from the upgunned Firefly and 76mm models to the M4A3E8 “Easy 8”, built upon the welded hull design.

Main Assembly

There’s no need for an exhaustive build review. I assembled most of the tank in the span of about two hours. It goes together well and, unlike aircraft, there’s no need to worry with unsightly weld lines since, well, they existed on the tank, too.

The only departure I’ve made from a straight out of the box build is the addition of a Marco Rubio turned aluminum barrel.

Here’s the Sherman after one night of work. It took about another half hour to complete initial construction.

Next up – priming.

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